i am…in the mountains

:: We are up in the mountains this weekend for a young adult retreat. A group of 25 young adults, and us. It’s been a long long time since I was around a mono-demographic, so to speak. It’s been a pleasure to finally meet and get to know the people Devo ministers to (hazards of evening meetings and young children, he’s been working with these people for months already and I’m just now meeting them).

:: It took me a long time to learn to release my expectations to be involved in gatherings. I used to growl or feel sad or left out to have to disengage from something in order to care for our children.

I’m doing better these years, and I think it’s partly due to setting the expectation beforehand that I choose to be present for my children, that I want to be the one to care for them, that this is the role I have chosen for this specific time and event. Anything I might happen to get personally from the event is icing on the cake, small thankfulnesses. It gives me the emotional space to leave things peacefully and without regret. (written as game night goes on downstairs while I preside over bedtime)

:: I packed well this time. Only a couple of toys. Literally. Last retreat I packed a basket full of things to do and learned (once again) that they never play with what we bring. (Is that just our children, or do all the other people who seem to pack so thoughtfully and magnanimously end up hauling home unused toys, too?)

The few toys we brought have seen some use, just enough that I don’t regret bringing them. Just enough that I don’t mind cleaning them up.

:: It stopped raining long enough for us to take two walks today. One walk was just the big girls of the family. We spotted our first deer tracks, two kinds of scat, and a piece of quartz. Fits in perfectly with our study of animals, deer last week. Didn’t manage to identify the birds hopping around outside our window. I’m thinking sparrows.

We were intrepid explorers, inquisitive observers.

:: Kiri has sprouted two little teeth this week. They are so darling. But in the meantime she just hasn’t quite been herself, poor baby.

:: One of the activities we chose for the retreat was to write a poem using this template. I wrote one, and found it harder than expected. It’s interesting what you reveal about yourself to yourself (and to others) in an exercise like this. I think I could do it again tonight and it would turn out completely different.

Try it sometime. Share it with someone, read it aloud.

    i am

    i am full of fear and I am here
    i wonder about the great wide world
    i hear eternity and mortality buzzing in my brain
    i see a glorious tree, grounded, stretching
    i want more, more, always more
    i am full of fear and I am here

    i pretend i am a better me
    i feel kaleidoscopically, no longer just in black and white
    i touch a baby’s soft cheek, my baby’s soft cheek
    i worry about loss
    i cry into my pillow
    i am full of fear and i am here

    i understand that God is love
    i say that pain is okay
    i dream about people who didn’t love me enough or any
    i try to let go of my try-hard life
    i hope for vision
    i am full of fear and i am here


2 thoughts on “i am…in the mountains

  1. I really appreciated your paragraph about being present with your children and what you get out of that for yourself is icing on the cake. A good mind set and reminder.

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